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Library Commission Minutes - June 20, 2002

Minutes of the meeting of Thursday, June 20, 2002. (As approved August 15, 2002) The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, June 20, 2002 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. The meeting was called to order at 4:09 PM by President Higueras. The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Higueras. Vice President Steiman joined the meeting at 4:13PM. Commissioner Swig was excused attendance President Higueras announced that he was reordering the taking of agenda items moving item #3 to 4th place and moving item #4 to 3rd place. AGENDA ITEM #1 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT (Explanatory documents: Bond Program budget and schedule documents) Branch Bond Program Manager Marilyn Thompson announced that there would be no informational report at this meeting. Ms Thompson then reported that there had been no changes in the Bond Program Budget since her last report. The Bond Program Manager noted that current Bond Program expenditures and encumbrances totaled $877,405. Ms. Thompson then discussed the program schedule report informing the Commissioners of scheduling plans to make sure that adjacent branches were not under construction at the same time. The Bond Program Manager brought the Commissioners up to date on recent program activities regarding proposed designs for the Glen Park Branch and announced Babette Drefke and Michael Kurtz had been selected as community representatives for the public art program for the new Mission Bay Branch Library. Ms. Thompson next reported on the active projects: the Richmond Design Workshop, the Excelsior Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) application, a Noe Valley Branch program assessment, and activities related to the Marina, and Parkside Branches. Ms. Thompson reported on a School District discussion of issues related to the possible Portola Branch site. The Bond Program Manager then informed the Commissioners of community outreach activities discussing community meetings sponsored or attended by the library staff. Ms. Thompson noted that the Bond Program Website was in operation and that a second Bond Program newsletter would be issued in June. The Bond Program Manager noted there would be no special report this month. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT: An anonymous member of the public commented that the explanatory documents were difficult to read. This anonymous member of the public observed that the proposed pairing of branches was new and suggested that there had been a promise of alternative services when branches were closed. This person commented that the rapid pace of decisions suggested that the process was getting away from the Commission. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that copies of the slides presented were not available nor were some explanatory materials mailed out with the agenda and expressed the view that this undermined the ability of the public to make informed comment. Ms. Jeannene Przyblyski, Noe Valley, reported that with the help of the Friends of Noe Valley more than 400 community surveys concerning the Noe Valley Branch had been returned to the Library. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT: In response to questions by President Higueras, Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood discussed in greater detail the plans to space out the branch library bond program so that adjacent branches would not be closed at the same time. Mr. Underwood noted that additional hours may be added to nearby branches to provide continuity of services during period when a branch was undergoing renovation. In response to a questions by Commissioners Bautista and Chin, Ms. Hildreth and Mr. Underwood explained how the artist selection and community review and input of public art works created for Branch Library Bond Program projects would be overseen by the staff of the Art Commission. AGENDA ITEM #2 RICHMOND BRANCH DESIGN WORKSHOP (Explanatory document: Richmond Branch Design Workshop Report) The Deputy City Librarian discussed in great detail the Richmond Branch Library Design Review Workshop and outlined how staff had reconsidered the design approaches for the Richmond Branch Library in response to community concerns with the initial proposals presented in February. Mr. Underwood noted that the scope of the project had been reconsidered to allow for a 40% increase in space at the branch and that the community had been very actively engaged in the design process during design workshops held during June 6 through June 9. Commissioner Streets joined the meeting at 4:34PM. Mr. Underwood noted that the goals of these workshops were different from those of the design charrette and that every effort was made to identify those things about the branch that people were most passionate about. Mr. Underwood noted that user surveys had asked specifics of what was wanted and that users were asked to rank the importance of various branch spaces and concerning the branch collections. The Deputy City Librarian highlighted the input by branch staff and noted that Library Administration was also interviewed to get a systemwide perspective about what could work best in the renovated and expanded branch. He discussed the contributions made by the consultants: Jill Stoner of Stoner Meeks Architects, Preservation Architect Jerry Takano, and consulting structural engineers and highlighted the input of community focus groups in achieving consensus on what the community and staff wanted in the renovated and expanded building and surrounding grounds. The four proposed design concepts discussed were described and the issues raised by older adult, adult, teen, and parent users were reported in further detail. Ms. Thompson and Mr. Underwood then outlined the next steps in the process to go forward with a preferred design. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 RICHMOND BRANCH DESIGN WORKSHOP: An anonymous member of the public commented that they had attended the workshop and noted that a number of people had complemented the process but also expressed concern that issues related to the art enrichment program and a relationship with the school district had not been fully explained. Mr. Ron Miguel, President of the Planning Association of the Richmond noted that the community had had concerns with the initial designs but that all of the concerns had been addressed during the workshops and that the community was well satisfied with results that works for the library and for the neighborhood. Mr. Miguel called particular attention to the excellence of the landscape design and praised Ms. Hildreth’s leadership in addressing the neighbors’ concerns. Ms. Marianne Duke, a neighbor who participated in the workshops, praised the library staff for helping a diverse community work together with the help of experts who listened carefully to produce a result everyone could be proud of. Ms. Duke suggested a standing ovation was deserved for all who had participated. Ms. Barbara Berman, Richmond resident, commented favorably that the Library had listened to community concerns and acted to address them. Commissioner Tim Kelley, Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board, praised the work of the design team as the beginning of a beautiful friendship that fully addressed the concerns of preservationists and reflected an open public process that deserved applause. Mr. Ed Regan offered several suggestions that he thought should be included in every branch renovation including a pamphlets room and expanded non-fiction collections in each branch library. Ms. Elaine Cohn, a Richmond neighbor, commented that the community had been very involved in this design process and felt consulted on the changes which impacted residents. N. Maye, observed that there needed to be more time allowed for staff to review the branch’s collections and make the right decisions on weeding but that this design process was a big improvement over the first one with more staff and public involvement. Ms. Angela Tang, representing teen users, thanked the Library for actively seeking and encouraging teen involvement in the design process. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed appreciation for the presentation but suggested that he would have liked to have had the information presented available in advance. Mr. Warfield questioned the changes in the amount of increased space proposed for the Richmond Branch and expressed disappointment that book collection issues were not reported. Mr. Warfield expressed concerns with reports of heavy weeding and possible reductions in the collection size. Tim Williams, Richmond Branch Library Manager, expressed strong support for the proposed new design noting that this proposal built on and enhanced the existing strengths of the branch. Mr. Williams explained that many of the materials removed from the collections had not circulated for more than two years or had long been missing and that there was no large-scale removal of books from the collection. The Richmond Branch Manager also expressed praise for the skillful work of Jill Stoner in conducting the successful workshops. Ruth Maginnis, Richmond Branch Library staff, commented that the February process did not reflect staff input and that she hoped that the improved process would be used at other branches being renovated. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 RICHMOND BRANCH DESIGN WORKSHOP: Commissioner Coulter applauded what he termed a good process. President Higueras noted that this was a good recovery from the first less than satisfactory effort at gathering input into the proposed design made in February under pressure to get a design ready in time for the first round of Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) applications. Commissioner Bautista suggested possible use of tiles to quiet the expected noise levels in the children and teen areas. In response to comments by Commissioners and issues raised by members of the public, Ms. Hildreth explained the process used to arrive at the proposed increased size of the branch, improve its functionality, and remain within the budget. Commissioner Chin applauded the community's participation noting that it was good to hear about positive contributions. It was the consensus of the Commission that significant progress had been made in achieving the best possible design and that this matter should be continued to a future meeting for final consideration and approval. AGENDA ITEM #4 PURCHASE & SALE AGREEMENT GLEN PARK BRANCH (Explanatory document: summary of draft Purchase & sale agreement documents) Bond Program Manager Marilyn Thompson introduced Ms. Carla Lieske, City Attorney’s office, who provided the Commissioners with a detailed overview of the proposed Purchase and Sale Agreement for the new Glen Park Branch Library. Ms. Lieske reported that the 9,200 sq. ft. condominium space at the Glen Park Market Place Project would be priced at $3,374,000 due at closing and that 10% would be retained for punch list items until sign off. The Deputy City Attorney reported on the details of the condominium agreement, the levels of due diligence required, the permit process and details of closing on the facility. Ms. Lieske then discussed the terms of the Construction Rider and outlined responsibilities of the seller. Ms. Thompson then introduced Mr. David Prowler, Project Developer and his architect Mr. Jon Peterson. Mr. Prowler provided the Commissioners with an extensive overview of the proposed Glen Park Market Place project reporting that the grocery would be operated by respected local grocer Bi-Rite, a well know local grocer for 40 years. He noted that the stores owners lived in Glen Park. Mr. Prowler then discussed the formal planning approval process and reported that due to increased costs it had been necessary to eliminate the planned underground-parking element from the project. Mr. Prowler then discussed several presentations made to Glen Park neighbors concerning the proposed project, notably at the Glen Park fair. Mr. Prowler then introduced Mr. Peterson for an overview of the preliminary designs being proposed. Mr. Peterson discussed the details of the proposed design as presented in several preliminary drawing of how the proposed project might look when viewed from several vantage points. Mr. Peterson noted the preliminary design called for lots of windows and maximum amounts of natural light for the library space but that the final details of the design were still being developed in consultation with library staff and with input from Glen Park neighbors. Ms. Thompson noted that the interior design work was still being developed and that details would be presented at a future meeting. Ms. Thompson asked that the Commissioners review and consider the information that they had received and recommended that approval of the Glen park Branch Library Purchase and Sale Agreement be taken up at the Commission’s July 2nd meeting. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 PURCHASE & SALE AGREEMENT GLEN PARK BRANCH: An anonymous member of the public observed that they had little to say except to hold their breath and hope for the best. This person noted that the Library had asked the voters to approve the Branch Bond so that every branch library would be in a city owned facility and that this proposal presented a potential for the Library to face similar problems it had experienced in previous years in this new space. Mr. Ed Regan recommended that the hours of operation for the new branches should be planned, that the needs of branch collections should be addressed, and that all new building should be two stories. Mr. Regan commented that he disliked the Library being located in a mixed-use facility preferring stand-alone buildings with room for expansion and parking. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that he had not had time to review the documents and expressed concerns about potential shared cost, how they would be apportioned, and what role the Library and the Commission would have in making changes in the building. Mr. Warfield also found of concern potential problems with supplemental agreements and the terms of the Construction Rider. Ms. Sybil Boutilier, a Glen Park neighbor, expressed concern with how the relationship between the elements in this project would work and raised concerns with the loss of parking in an area where parking was already difficult. Mr. Bruce Bonaker, Glen Park Merchants Association, noted extensive efforts ongoing to address parking concerns in the entire Glen Park village and that this project would be a significant enhancement to the community. Mr. Bonaker expressed strong community support for approval of this project. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 PURCHASE & SALE AGREEMENT GLEN PARK BRANCH: President Higueras noted that this was not an "action" item and that details of the supplemental agreements and Construction rider would become clearer when the final documents were under consideration by the Commission for approval. Ms. Thompson pointed out the final design work would be vetted by the Design Excellence process created by the Library Commission. President Higueras emphasized the importance of gathering community and staff input regarding how the building presented itself to the community. Commissioner Chin left the meeting at 6:00PM. The City Librarian commented that the final documents would be ready for review prior to their consideration by the Commission. Vice President Steiman reported that there had been extensive community input at several community meeting and noted that staff had been responsive and sensitive to the community suggestions. President Higueras raised a question left by Commissioner Chin who expressed concern that the building be structurally strong enough to meet the library’s needs. In response to questions by President Higueras, Ms. Lieske elaborated on several aspects of the proposed Purchase and Sale documents noting that a condominium arrangement of this kind was unusual for a city department. Ms. Lieske discussed the aspects of the usual covenants and agreements found in mixed facilities and noted that details of the CC&R (shared use) agreements would be fully spelled out. In response to Commissioner’s comments Mr. Prowler explained that the majority of the agreement language was standard "boilerplate" terms and that any issues involving shared areas could be resolved by the votes of the partners in the building, with one vote each for the grocer, the Library, and the residential units. There was a discussion between President Higueras and Mr. Prowler concerning ways of resolving issues and oversight during the construction phases of the development. It was noted that library staff had final sign-off on the plans that could not be changed without Library agreement and that the Library was fully in charge of its tenant improvements. Mr. Prowler welcomed participation of a library representative at all site meetings, inspections, and permit reviews. In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista the methods of delivery to the branch and use of a dedicated elevator were discussed. It was proposed that the final documents be brought to the Library Commission for it approval at its July 2, 2002 regular meeting. President Higueras called a brief recess at 6:22PM. Commissioner Streets left the meeting during the recess. The Commission returned to session at 6:36PM. AGENDA ITEM #3 PURCHASE & SALE AGREEMENT: MISSION BAY BRANCH LIBRARY (Explanatory documents: summary of Purchase & Sale documents) Bond Program Manager Marilyn Thompson introduced Deputy City Attorney Donnell Choy who gave the Commissioners a detailed presentation on the proposed terms of a Purchase and Sale Agreement between the Library and the Redevelopment Agency for the new Mission Bay Branch Library. Mr. Choy called attention to the similarities and differences between this agreement and the agreement just considered for the new Glen Park Branch Library. Mr. Choy noted that this agreement called for the vertical and horizontal subdivision of the site giving the Library title to the property, with previously discussed restrictions on sale or alternative uses. The Deputy City Attorney noted that this property, a 7.700 sq. ft corner site at 4th and Berry Streets, was a prominent element in a mixed used facility that also included affordable senior housing, non-profit office space, and some retail spaces. Mr. Choy discussed in great detail: the division of the parcel; the library’s share of cost for its portion of the building’s costs; made a brief restatement of the sale and use restrictions; and discussed changes in how the payments would be made. Mr. Choy outlined in detail the Construction Rider, easements, reciprocal agreement terms, and issues related to joint use of some spaces. The Deputy City Attorney noted that the Library would receive a ready to move in facility and next outlined the details of the permitting process that the City would undertake during the course of construction of this project. The Deputy City Attorney then described the remaining issues, such as the construction contract, setting a final closing date, and setting a performance schedule, to be worked out prior to the Commission giving its approval to the Purchase and Sale Agreement. Ms. Thompson noted that there would be a 5% cap on additional costs that should be able to fund any unanticipated additional costs thought interest income accumulated on the project’s budgeted funds. Ms. Thompson then described the preliminary design for the overall structure highlighting proposed elements of the Library’s portion of the building. The Bond Program Manager noted that the Library’s L shaped space would be fronted by a curved glass wall facing a creekside promenade. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 PURCHASE & SALE AGREEMENT: MISSION BAY BRANCH LIBRARY : An anonymous member of the public commented that they felt deluged with details and expressed concern about the provision of two parking spaces called for in one draft but not in a later version. This individual suggested that the entire issue raised questions as to why the Library was paying a developer for providing an amenity to its development instead of the developer paying the Library for providing such a benefit. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 PURCHASE & SALE AGREEMENT: MISSION BAY BRANCH LIBRARY: In response to questions by Vice President Steiman, Ms. Thompson discussed in greater detail what the Library actually owning the property on which the new branch was to be built meant. Ms. Thompson also in response to questions by President Higueras and Vice President Steiman discussed ways that the Library could control its share of costs for major changes in the costs or maintain an escape option for unanticipated problems such as a need for additional pilings for the entire building’s foundation. In response to comments by President Higueras, Ms. Thompson also described how soft costs and shell and core elements costs could be managed describing the Library pro-rata share for shared areas of the building. In response to a question by Commissioner Bautista, Ms. Thompson confirmed that a soils analysis had been done and any toxics clean up was the responsibility of Catellus. President Higueras asked that staff develop a model of what the Library could expect in the way of normal operating costs for a new branch library. AGENDA ITEM #5 APPROVAL OF THE MAY 3, 2002 MINUTES Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 APPROVAL OF THE MAY 3, 2002 MINUTES: An anonymous member of the public called attention to comments they attributed to Commissioner Coulter regarding the symbolic value and importance of the Library’s collections and remarks attributed to Commissioner Bautista making conditional her approval of the Excelsior Branch Library Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) Application on rethinking of the providing of lounge seating that this person found missing from the Minutes. Mr. Ed Regan found his remarks generally accurately reported but clarified that he had merely walked by the Bryant Street building but had not visited it. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 APPROVAL OF THE MAY 3, 2002 MINUTES: Commissioner Coulter suggested that the Minutes be approved with a clarification of Mr. Regan’s remarks on the Bryant Street building and that they also be revised to include his comments that every effort should be made to maintain the size of branch library book collections. Vice President Steiman called attention to the fact that many of the items that listed in branch collections were in fact long gone from the shelves and that much of the apparent reductions were in fact just a more accurate count of what was really there. Motion: by Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Steiman for approval of the May 3, 2002 Minutes with correction of Mr. Regan’s comments related to the Bryant Street building and Commissioner Coulter’s remarks on branch collections. Action: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman) AGENDA ITEM #6 APPROVAL OF THE MAY 16 , 2002 as continued on May 21, 2002 MINUTES Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6: An anonymous member of the public commented that this was the infamous meeting in two parts and that these Minutes exemplified the Commission’s practice of taking the meaning out of the minutes citing discussions of the Design Excellence program, and the approval of a site for the Library Support Services Center. Motion: by Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Steiman for approval of the May 16/21, 2002 Minutes. Action: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman) AGENDA ITEM #7 APPROVAL OF THE MAY 21, 2002 MINUTES Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #7 APPROVAL OF THE MAY 21, 2002 MINUTES: An anonymous member of the public expressed appreciation for the Commission taking a break but suggested that the public was most interested in being informed when the Commission returned to session. This individual also pointed out that former Commissioner Norman Wechsler name had been mis-spelled in the In Memoriam adjournment motion. Motion: by Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Steiman for approval of the May 21, 2002 Minutes with correction of any mis-spellings. Action: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman) AGENDA ITEM #8 BLIP (Branch Library Improvement Bond program Advisory Committee) REPORT Ms. Hildreth noted that there was no report but that this item was going to be regularly calendared on the Commission’s second monthly meeting agenda so as to provide a regular opportunity for the Bond Program Advisory Committee to communicate with the Library Commission. AGENDA ITEM #9 PUBLIC COMMENT An anonymous member of the public objected that they had not been given opportunity for public comment on the Bond Program Advisory Committee Report. The anonymous member of the public found the discussion of the Richmond Branch design process provided an illusion of democracy that might come so close as to make little real difference to real democracy. This person cited a comment by Kant that a person can be fooled by the appearance of reality to such a degree that there is no practical difference with reality. This person commented further on the importance of creating democracy that eliminated barriers of race and class. Mr. Ed Regan suggested that Library public service hours be expanded from 6AM until Midnight 7 days per week. AGENDA ITEM #10 ADJOURNMENT Motion: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Steiman that the meeting be adjourned In memoriam of Library Carpenter Chris Mattis, who had served the Library faithfully and well for more than 20 years. Action: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman) The meeting was adjourned at 7:44PM. Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 8/16/02 Appendix A The Public Comment Summary Statements included in these Minutes are authorized by San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.16.. These summary statements are provided by the speaker. Their contents are neither generated by, nor subject to approval or verification of accuracy by, the San Francisco Public Library Commission. The number of members of the public who spoke anonymously at this meeting. 1 Public Comment available for viewing in pdf format.